Former Mthatha Bucks goalpoacher Lucky Mathosi, who was sent packing by former National First Division outfit for ill-discipline, thinks Bucks got what they deserved when they were relegated to the ABC Motsepe League.
Mathosi, who is now preparing for the National First Division playoffs next month with his home side Buya Msutu, spoke frankly about why he thinks Bucks got what was coming to them. He however felt the brunt of this sorry tale are the players who would be jobless next season.
“It was always coming and the sad moment was when Ian Palmer [former Bucks coach] left the team, to me that’s when I knew this team would be relegated, because that’s when I saw the boat was sinking,” he said.
“No one would help us survive no matter how experienced the next coach would be, because when we came back for the second leg of the season.
Management were letting players go and bringing in new players. Forgetting these new guys still needed time to adjust and there was not time for that.
“They could have worked with what they had and tried to get results where they could,” said the former Amatuks skipper.
Mathosi felt everything that went wrong at the club started with its management. “I think the team wasn’t professionally run. For instance there must be a budget for training facilities which is the primary requirement for any team to function properly.
“The team didn’t have a suitable ground to train for a week and sometimes we attend training and do nothing because we couldn’t do what we wanted to. We trained at the Mthatha Stadium once or twice a week – so we got only one proper training session a week.
“The management got it all wrong and being the only team in Mthatha they could have avoided that by fighting for the right to train there (at Mthatha Stadium).
Mathosi felt he and his former teammates needed to practice more in match-like situations.
“Even when we were at the stadium sometimes, we had to pratice outside the perimeters of the pitch. I heard that our management didn’t want to fork out money to pay for the facilities.
“At the other sportfields we sometime had to wait for Mthatha City to finish their sessions before we’d be allowed in. Imagine an NFD team having to wait for an ABC Motsepe League team to train first or sometimes when we are training we’d had to move so an ABC Motsepe team can train.
“That’s where I think the team’s troubles began and most of management’s decisions were based on personal feeling towards players.
“And when I heard that they were relegated I felt like calling Luxolo Matikinca [Bucks COO] to let them know that heading to the ABC Motsepe is what they deserved.”
The former University of Pretoria striker reiterated that the real downside to their losing their NFD status was the players losing their jobs.
Mathosi also alleged the players were not paid their salaries in December after they lost to Jomo Cosmos.
“I was not even playing that game because I had a knee injury and apparently management got angry because the team lost so they took the result personally and decided they would not pay us.
“So we spent the entire December without salaries, so imagine, some of us have responsibilities to take care of, and as a result my kids spend their Christmas with old clothes.
“I think that’s where most players stopped giving a damn about the team, because as a club you have to make players want to fight for you –- like if you’re a boss.
“But with this team we were like so what it’s all the same even if we lost, But then in life you get what you deserve,” said Mathosi.
The club’s chiefs operations officer, Lunga Tukute, refuted all the striker’s claims saying he was just bitter.
“Lucky’s salary was only delayed because he didn’t come to work on time because the team was camping in Petermaritzburg and he was the only player that had not shown up.
“He joined the camp after a week, he got there when we were leaving, so he gave us a lot of problems and he had stories and I think he just likes a comfort zone.
“We have never trained just once even now that we’ve been relegated. We always trained three times at Mthatha Stadium.
“Where we had problems was at Unitra Stadium where we trained sometimes, there was a strike there and then Rotary Stadium got closed for renovations,” said Tukute.
He said it’s because they had to move from Rotary to sportsfields where Mthatha City had a contract, so they had to respect the former ABC Motsepe League side’s programme.
“He shouldn’t try and build his profile at our expense, because he even gave us problems at the gym we were using.
“He didn’t want to pay his membership fee even though it was at a good rate, because we had negotiated for the team.
“And there was this one time where he was not at training and he said the bus left him – because he was sleeping.
“Lucky has got potential, because he scores but he was problematic.”
Bucks general manager Luxolo Matikinca refuted Mathosi’s claims and said d he didn’t want to respond to his “lies”.
“Lucky knows the full story because we’ve never trained once a week. So I won’t respond to such lies. and I won’t dignify his lies with a response,” said Matikanca.